Cinco de Mayo fiestas.
OK, so technically it's not Mexico's Independence Day (that's in September), but Cinco de Mayo is no less reason to celebrate. Fiesta the day away at one of these hot spots, offering Mexican-themed deals throughout the day (all events on Tuesday, May 5, unless otherwise noted).
6-9 p.m.; buy tickets here
Nacional 27 is offering a $27 "ultimate party package" that includes margaritas, sangria, passed tapas and dancing to the beats of DJ George Perez.
On Tuesday, Carnivale celebrates Cinco de Mayo with $5 guacamole, five specialty margaritas ($8.50-$12), $5 valet, $5 Mexican beers (Pacifico and Negro Modelo) and other Mexican-themed food specials like posole, tacos de lengua and flan. Keep the fiesta going on Wednesday with Margaritas 101, a hands-on class taught by Carnivale mixologist Victor Beheza (6:30-8:30 p.m.; $25).
5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Zocalo celebrates Cinco de Mayo with a cinco dolar ($5) menu: $5 margaritas, $5 chef's choice taco bar and half-off all appetizers in the bar from 5-7 p.m.; $5 shots of Cuervo Traditional, Cuervo Silver and Cuervo Flavors. Zocalo will host raffles all night, and a DJ will spin beginning at 6 p.m.
The lively Lincoln Park restaurant is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with its famous El Jimador margaritas for $6, along with live mariachi band music.
11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
Enjoy $2 Corona and Corona Light bottles, in addition to $5 nachos (two layers of tortilla chips, pulled pork, chicken or brisket, Division Street chili, monterey jack cheese, sharp cheddar, white onion, tomatoes, cilantro and Smoke Daddy's famous BBQ sauce) and BBQ Smoked Chicken Enchiladas with coleslaw and fries, $10. Beginning at 9 p.m., Nigel Mack will rock the stage with free tunes.
Dunlays on the Square
Sip $2 Pacificos and $5 margaritas while enjoying Mexican-themed specials, such as fish tacos ($12), steak tacos ($10), guacamole and chips ($8) and ceviche ($9). A $7 Don Julio premium tequila flight will also be featured. Tuesday's 20 wine bottles for $20 promotion will also be valid.
Food specials, available from 4-10 p.m., include queso fundido, chipotle shrimp with tequila cocktail sauce, Acapulco salad, frisee salad with chorizo and roasted garlic, and Caramel Flan for dessert. Drink specials, served all day, include Milagro shots ($4), margaritas and frozen margaritas ($5-$7), micheladas (Dos Equis on the rocks with lots of lime, dash of Bloody Mary spice and a salted rim, $5) and homemade horchata ($3, or $6 with tequila).
5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Drink $3 Coronas to go with an appetizer/cocktail combo: the chicken quesadilla with roasted salsa and a Jose Cuervo Margarita on the rocks for $15.
Celebrate "Cinco de Moonshine" with a traditional live mariachi band as well as the Las Chicas Cazadores. Enjoy $7 fiesta nachos and $2 steak tacos, along with a variety of tempting Cazadores margaritas. All-day drink specials will include $5 Cinco de Moonshine margaritas, $6 green-eyed Mexican margaritas, $6 El Toro margaritas, made with fresh strawberries, $20 Cazadores margarita pitchers (all flavors) and $3 Corona and Corona Lights.
She-nannigans and The Original Mother's
May 2, 3 p.m.; May 5, 7 p.m., $8, buy tickets here
The Fifth Annual "Cinco Divison" kicks off on May 2 at She-Nannigan's, with Dickey Pimpkins and a special guest performing live. This free show will jump-start Division Street as partygoers enjoy $4.50 Corona and Corona Light and $5 shots of Sauza Tequila. Throughout the event, roaming Mariachis on unicycles will amaze and entertain everyone at all the famous pubs and clubs on the strip.
Then come to The Original Mother's on May 5 for live performances from the Blink-182 tribute band, Blank 281, and the evening's headliner, Smoking Popes. $4.50 Corona and Corona Light and $5 shots of Sauza Tequila will be featured all day and night.
Rockit Bar & Grill
Executive chef James Gottwald will give guests his spin on Mexican classics, including a pizza with chorizo, roasted bell peppers, diced tomatoes, green onion and pepper jack cheese ($12) and soft tortillas with chicken and pico de gallo ($14). If your celebrations generally include more alcohol than food, you can stock up on $2 Tecate and $5 Ranch Margaritas (Sauza, Cointreau, orange juice, sour, lime juice).
Bull & Bear
The financial district hot spot will offer authentic freshly made chili rellenos, to wild twists on old favorites, like wild boar tacos, with $5 Sauza margaritas to help wash it down.
Timothy O'Toole's Irish Pub Chicago will celebrate Cinco "O' Mayo" with $4 Dos Equis draft beers and $18 Corona/Corona Light/Pacifico mix n' match buckets, which include Chef Sean O'Brien's chips and salsa (with bucket purchase). Corona Beer gets patrons in the summer spirit as they host a Cinco de Mayo event from 6-8 p.m. Corona will raffle off a "Beach Package" that includes beach chairs with cooler, beach ball, towels and more.
Kit Kat Lounge and Supper Club
5:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
Kit Kat's mixologists will shake up half-price margaritas and martinis, while Chef Matt Stovey serves an array of Mexican-influenced dinner specials. Kit Kat will serve tequila samplings and award $500 worth of raffle prizes and giveaways, courtesy of Hornitos Tequila. The "Divas" will perform throughout the night beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Call (773) 296-1300 for reservations
Co-owners Joey and Greg Morelli promise a real fiesta. In addition to the regular menu, specialties include: tableside guacamole made by Joey; flaming Mexican cheese with tortilla crackers; veggie southwest gazpacho with chipotle, poblano chilies, lime and cilantro. Top it off with Ibarra chocolate mousse with drunken berries.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with all day drink specials and themed signature rolls, including $3 Coronas, $5 mai tais and rolls like the Mexico City (tomato over tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno with wasabi mayo & lime juice; $14) and sombrero roll (baked salmon over a crab meat with tangy ponzu sauce; $14).
Arrowhead Restaurant and Bar
Arrowhead will be featuring Hispanic cuisine and beverages specials throughout the day, all with a $5 theme, including a margarita bar and an all-you-can-eat taco bar.
Enjoy $3.50 Coronas, $5 margaritas and $3 tequila shooters all day. And guests who visit between 5 and 7 p.m. will receive a "mystery envelope" from one of the Corona Girls. Each envelope will contain a betting voucher worth up to $100, as well as other prizes.
The River North bar opens up its new patio on Friday, May 1. Celebrate the introduction of fresh air to your drinking routine on Tuesday with $15 buckets of Corona and Corona Light, $3 Sauza tequila and free chips and salsa.
Starts at 4 p.m.; for reservations, call (847) 696-1234, ext. 6545
The Hyatt Regency O'Hare's hotel lounge will feature steak tacos for $12, chips and salsa with guacamole for $5.00 and Corona beer buckets ($20 for five bottles.) Red Bar will also serve the Mexi-tini, a delicious cocktail with orange vodka, orange juice and Reposado Tequila ($7), and the Paloma, a citrusy blend of Blanco Tequila, grapefruit and lime juices, and Sierra Mist ($6). Free valet parking is offered.
Kroll's South Loop
The Corona Girls (don't act like you don't know) will be on hand Tuesday, offering chances to win Corona's "Get Ready for Summer" beach pacakge, which will include beach chairs, coolers, beach balls and other summer gear. Even if you don't win, you win with $2 bottles of Corona, Corona Light and Pacifico, $4 shots of Jose Cuervo Silver and chicken mojo and quesadilla specials.